I've decided to change my Monday format slightly. My two favorite subjects are writing and God, so I'm still going to write about God on Mondays and Writing on Fridays, but instead of doing Mondays as a sort of lesson or devotional, I'm going to try and make it more personal.... like how God deals with me and the things I've learned over the years from Him, and the things I'm learning now in my daily relationship with Him. Or maybe I'll just ask a question and open up a discussion.
One of the things the Father is reinforcing with me these days is that He NEVER changes. His character is always the same. That means that the way He feels about me is ALWAYS the same. For me that's been really hard to grasp over the years. We live in such a "performance-driven" culture among emotionally fickle people, and most of us learn early on that if we want to have value, make friends, and be successful in life, we must be beautiful, smart, or have a winning personality. Most of our childhood homes were based on performance, then our school experience was, and finally our work experience as adults. Along the way we quickly learn that most people will like us as long as we behave a certain way or do certain things. But when we disappoint them or do something they disagree with, they are gone.
Just look at the growing number of broken marriages in our culture. "Well, she just isn't the person I married" one husband will say, or "I'm not in love with him anymore," the wife will admit. The truth is that the couple discovered their mate has flaws, they make mistakes, they are moody or smell bad sometimes or forget birthdays.... or got fat, or whatever the problem is. So, we learn once again that we have to measure up in order to be loved.
Because of not having a father in the home, I grew up with an extra dose of insecurity and an extra desire to be loved unconditionally. That's why it is so hard for me to believe that God loves me the same all the time. He loves me as much now as He loved me when I was deep in my sin before I knew Him. He loves me when I'm sick, when I'm fat, ugly, have bad breath, lose a job, fail at a marriage, cuss, drink too much, argue with a friend. He loves me when I neglect to read my Bible, when I forget to pray. He even loves me when I drift away from Him. He loves me the same every minute of every day in every circumstance irregardless of my behavior or appearance. And it gets even better. He loves me the SAME as He loves His only Son, Jesus.
That's been a nearly impossible thing for me to grasp over the years. I tend to beat myself up for every little sin or feel guilty when I forget to read my Bible or have a bad thought. I automatically think God is disappointed in me and turning his face away until I get my act together. But lately He's been dealing with me on this, telling me He loves me no matter what, and He'll Always love me that way and He'll never reject me.
I firmly believe that embracing that... I mean truly believing that truth in your mind and your spirit will ultimately lead you down a path to fearless security and joy. I'm not there yet, but I've started on the journey.